So what is the real truth behind Lynn Hirschberg’s article? Well, it’s not all that different than what Hirschberg wrote – just tossed up on a tacky, borderline-annoying site and made to look profound. Which is exactly what M.I.A. appeared as in Hirschberg’s profile.
Anyway, there are two truths:
Truth 1: Hirschberg ordered the fries! Shocker? To quote Josiah Hughes’ Exclaim coverage:
Way to lift the veil on some pretty heavy shit there, Maya.
No truer words written. Because, here’s how the fries factored into the story:
Maya said as she studied the menu, deciding on a glass of wine and French fries.
In case you hadn’t picked up on that in the article, no worries. It’s a minute detail in the piece, and, really, what journalist would take that snippet of a conversation M.I.A. posted on her blog and re-print such a pointless detail in an article that’s not about french fries. From what I understand, someone had to eat those fries, and unless M.I.A. can prove otherwise – who cares!
Truth 2: Hirschberg somehow left out part of a quote?!
Here’s how it appears on M.I.A.’s site:
“IT WASNT JUST ABOUT ME, and me getting to the oscars or me going to the grammy’s that doesn’t mean anything the whole point of that journey was so you can go hey 50,000 people are going to die next month here’s your opportunity to help and no one did, and they still died! it wasn’t about accolades or fame.”
lynne: “oh yeah i understand”
And within the article:
“The whole point of going to the Grammys was to say, ‘Hey, 50,000 people are gonna die next month, and here’s your opportunity to help.’ And no one did.”
What’s the issue? That Hirschberg said she “understands?” What, does she understand that M.I.A. feels that way? Totally possible. That also doesn’t mean that what M.I.A. said – that appearing at the Grammys made people think about genocide in Sri Lanka – is actually true. I doubt that anyone who saw her perform her sampled piece of “Swagga Like Us” stood up and said, “that’s an excellent point about modern genocide!”
And considering M.I.A. misspelled Hirschberg’s first name in a blog post about “the truth” certainly makes the whole thing fishy.
The whole escapade boils down to M.I.A.’s “big” response: A new song called “I’m A Singer.” It’s a response to Hirschberg’s work, one in which M.I.A. declares the old saying about sticks and stones breaking bones, yada yada. Which only further proves how much M.I.A. was hurt by Hirschberg’s piece. If M.I.A. wants people to believe that music as a response to criticism wasn’t created by hurt feelings/ego, well, that just further cements a seal-of-truth on the Times profile. In fact, it sums up the profile with a singular statement: M.I.A. is human, one with great ideas, and plenty of weaknesses. Such as “I’m A Singer.”